A woman is being sentenced to 15 days in Sussex County Jail for releasing a bear cub who was trapped in Vernon at Great Gorge Village last October. After a Vernon resident claimed to be charged by a bear, this resulted in New Jersey Division Of Fish And Wildlife setting a trap for bears in the neighborhood. Unfortunately, a cub accidentally ended up in the trap. While these specific traps don't cause physical harm to the bears, I can certainly understand how tough it would be to see a cub get separated from its Mama Bear. These two who reportedly don't even live in the condos where I live and this happened, were let into the neighborhood and released the trapped cub.
I fully respect the rights of citizens to protest anything, including the New Jersey Bear Hunt. I also respect them for doing what they believed to be was the right thing to do. That being said, these citizens involved created a situation that could have caused danger for all of those around them. I feel they should not take the law into their own hands, overriding authorities. Last October I mentioned how believe it or not, even I felt bad for the bears because quite often people not locking dumpsters, or broken locks on dumpsters are to blame. With my many bear encounters over the past 5 years of living here (dozens and dozens and dozens,) only one was aggressive towards me and bluff charged. The overwhelming majority of my bear encounters have been uneventful, they're usually fine keeping to themselves. Getting to see bears up close has been an amazing and humbling experience since I moved to Jersey 5 years ago. It also angers me greatly, when I see dumpsters unlocked by my neighbors. When you live in Vernon at the condos, as I call Campus, it quickly becomes a reflex to lock the dumpster after you use it. For me, it's as much of a reflex as closing a door behind me. People who intentionally don't lock dumpsters hoping to see more bears create more potential harm and danger than good. I love that the judge informed the citizens that the New Jersey Division Of Fish And Wildlife isn't out to hurt the bears, but actually attempt to protect them. You can see the terrific story from our friends at NJ Herald here.